Game 23 2018-19: Oilers at Kings

by Lowetide

Ken Hitchcock used the off day in California to further intoxicate Oilers nation with his sexy verbal. This time it was all about turning Jesse Puljujarvi into Jere Lehtinen (he didn’t say that, this is my imagination running away with me). Hitch talked about getting ‘the glide out’ of JP’s game when the other team has the puck. By the time Hitchcock got to “there’s elements of his game, doesn’t matter what league he’s playing in, that have to get better; I want that responsibility because the top band is awful, awful high and I want to work with that” every living Oilers aficionado let loose with the Daltrey primal scream from Won’t Get Fooled Again.

Ken Hitchcock is Robert Preston in “The Music Man” and oh we got trouble, trouble, trouble right here in river city. Ken Hitchcock has worked the city of Edmonton into an incredible Oilermania frenzy, something one would have thought impossible just one week ago. It could be the opening moments of a beautiful story, but there is danger here. Why?

What if it doesn’t work?

THE ATHLETIC

The Athletic Edmonton is going to bring it all season long. Proud to be part of a lineup that is ready to cover the coming year. Outstanding coverage from a large group, including Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis, Lowetide, Minnia Feng and Pat McLean. If you haven’t subscribed yet, now’s your chance. Black Friday offer is here!

  • New Lowetide: Jesse Puljujarvi to the show, plus the sudden impact of Cam Hebig and Joel Persson.
  • New Lowetide: Oilers No. 3 Prospect winter 2018: Tyler Benson.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Third line suits the eye of new Oilers coach Ken Hitchcock.
  • Jonathan Willis: Can Ken Hitchcock save Milan Lucic’s Oilers career?
  • Lowetide: A shot in the dark: What are the Oilers getting in Chris Wideman?
  • New Justin Bourne: Why switching coaches provides short-term benefits for an NHL team.
  • Lowetide: With not enough talent, and outside the playoffs, Todd McLellan’s Oilers career ends where it began.
  • Jonathan Willis: The Edmonton Oilers get their 2018-19 quarter pole report cards.
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 2 Prospect winter 2018: Kailer Yamamoto.
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 1 Prospect winter 2018: Evan Bouchard.

OILERS AFTER 23

  • Oilers in 20157-14-2, 16 points; goal differential -13
  • Oilers in 2016: 12-9-2, 26 points; goal differential +9
  • Oilers in 2017: 8-13-2, 18 points; goal differential -16
  • Oilers in 2018: 10-10-2, 22 points; goal differential -9

The 2018 Oilers can get within two points of the 2016 playoff group with a win tonight. The goal differential is going to be a longer correction, and in all honesty the GD suggests this year’s team isn’t deserving of the record. We’ll see how they shine with the Music Man (so far, he’s 1-0-1).

OILERS IN NOVEMBER

  • Oilers in November 2015: 4-6-2, 10 points; goal differential -6
  • Oilers in November 2016: 5-6-1, 11 points; goal differential 0
  • Oilers in November 2017: 5-6-1, 11 points; goal differential -1
  • Oilers in November 2018: 4-6-1, nine points; goal differential -7

All three November teams won this game in their respective seasons, it should be a win for the 2018 Oilers. As I mentioned yesterday, the schedule lines up well for an end of the month run no matter who is behind the bench.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN NOVEMBER

  • At home to: Chicago (Expected 1-0-0) Actual (1-0-0)
  • On the road to: Detroit, Washington, Tampa Bay, Florida  (Expected 2-2-0) (Actual 1-3-0)
  • At home to: Colorado, Montreal (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 1-1-0)
  • On the road to: Calgary (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 0-1-0)
  • At home to: Vegas (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-1-0)
  • On the road to: San Jose, Anaheim, Los Angeles (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 1-0-1)
  • At home to: Dallas, Los Angeles  (Expected 1-0-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 8-5-1, 17 points in 14 games 
  • Current results: 4-6-1, 9 points in 11 games

Three games left, Oilers need something like 2-1-0 in this series of games in my opinion. If they can manage that total, Edmonton gets through November 12-11-2, 26 points in 25 games. It isn’t fabulous, but neither is the Pacific Division.

HITCHCOCK’S LINEUP TWEAKS

  • Ryan Spooner—Connor McDavid—Leon Draisaitl. 
  • Drake Caggiula—Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—Alex Chiasson.
  • Milan Lucic—Kyle Brodziak—Zack Kassian.
  • Patrick Russell—Jujhar Khaira—Ty Rattie (Jesse Puljujarvi)
  • Oscar Klefbom—Adam Larsson
  • Darnell Nurse—Kris Russell
  • Kevin Gravel—Chris Wideman
  • Cam Talbot (Mikko Koskinen)

In the last game day review I wrote “Drake Caggiula didn’t have a lot going on” and honestly didn’t think much of it. In previous seasons, it would have meant exactly zero, we would have seen Caggiula back on left wing with 97. Hitchcock, who notices everything, promptly moves Ryan Spooner up and Caggiula down. It may not last, Oilers have few choices, but it’s an indication that no crime will go unpunished in the Hitchcock era. Also gives Spooner a chance to do something, I wonder if Hitchcock sees him as part of the solution.

If we follow ‘The Crusty Veteran’s Coaching Handbook” then Puljujarvi doesn’t play in Los Angeles tonight, instead works hard in practice and proves to the coach he’s learning on the job and building rapport. If we do see him in the lineup, I expect that No. 4 line will be Khaira and Puljujarvi with McDavid quite a bit. Hitchcock is trying to find clean air for McDavid. Music!

Chris Wideman is likely to draw in tonight, if we’re going full MacT we’ll see Hitch dress 11 forwards and seven defensemen just in case. As an aside, I’ve been thinking about MacT as coach all damned week, the rush of memories has been surprising and welcome.

ADDING A SNIPER

One of Hitchcock’s quotes yesterday about Puljujarvi could also apply to Peter Chiarelli: “I want to work with him to get him to stay on the hunt longer.” I think these new high hopes are going to need a scoring boost, and that may mean a trade sometime around the new year. If you give Hitchcock three weeks to work with Puljujarvi, that makes the next pressure point at December 14 or so, and I think Edmonton goes out and grabs a first-person shooter. What is that player’s name? No idea. Hopefully he’s a right shot. One team Edmonton might be able to talk trade with? Ottawa Senators. Having dealt it’s own draft selection, it’s a good bet the club will want to have a replacement selections. Edmonton would pick No. 12 based on current standings, would that be enough to get something done?

Edmonton currently has selections No. 12, No. 43, No. 74, No. 83 (Brandon Davidson), No. 105, No. 167, No. 198. The team has no fifth rounder (Hayden Hawkey). This is all based on Edmonton picking No. 12 currently (basing it on winning percentage and games played).

 

 

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Ribs

oilcanharry:
Today I deleted all my Oiler-related updates, apps, notifications, etc.I’m sure a few messages will trickle through until I can find a stop all the leaks.

I’ve been a fan for 35 years, from northern Alberta.I remember my Dad waking me up to watch the first Cup handed to Wayne Gretzky.My favourite Oilers were the Doug Weight Oilers, my favourite Oilers of all time are Smyth and Fernano Pisani, whose number 34 I have on my hockey sweater.I play a lot like him, only I don’t score in the playoffs either.

This isn’t fun anymore.I have a hard time explaining to my wife my compulsive need to beat myself up three times a week.She finally asked “if you aren’t enjoying it (them), why are you still doing it?”

Good question, and we’ll try something else now for a while.

It does sound like you need a break! It’s okay to step away for a while and enjoy other things! The Oilers will be around for a long time 🙂 You can always come back to it later. No one will think less of you. Well, they shouldn’t, haha.

SK Oiler Fan

frjohnk:
Had to PVR the game, just watched it this morning.

-If Chiasson keeps up his 42% shooting %, he is gonna go from a PTO to a NMC in less than a year.

-McDavid going coast to coast is a thing of beauty.

-Calling an interference penalty on a nothing play in the last 2 minutes against McDavid when there was interference all game on McDavid with no calls is an absolute joke.

-Talbot needs more help than he was given.Team defense was garbage.

Agreed. Situational officiating. All part of the officials “managing the Game”. Call the damn game according to the rule book.

oilcanharry

Today I deleted all my Oiler-related updates, apps, notifications, etc. I’m sure a few messages will trickle through until I can find a stop all the leaks.

I’ve been a fan for 35 years, from northern Alberta. I remember my Dad waking me up to watch the first Cup handed to Wayne Gretzky. My favourite Oilers were the Doug Weight Oilers, my favourite Oilers of all time are Smyth and Fernano Pisani, whose number 34 I have on my hockey sweater. I play a lot like him, only I don’t score in the playoffs either.

This isn’t fun anymore. I have a hard time explaining to my wife my compulsive need to beat myself up three times a week. She finally asked “if you aren’t enjoying it (them), why are you still doing it?”

Good question, and we’ll try something else now for a while.

Wilde

Sierra: Other side of the microphones?

media

Sierra

Wilde:
Some of the people on the other side of the microphones don’t seem to like Jesse all that much.

So many baiting questions.

Other side of the microphones?

frjohnk

Had to PVR the game, just watched it this morning.

-If Chiasson keeps up his 42% shooting %, he is gonna go from a PTO to a NMC in less than a year.

-McDavid going coast to coast is a thing of beauty.

-Calling an interference penalty on a nothing play in the last 2 minutes against McDavid when there was interference all game on McDavid with no calls is an absolute joke.

-Talbot needs more help than he was given. Team defense was garbage.

€√¥£€^$

Dicky94:
€√¥£€^$,

Did Rattie even dress tonight?

I saw him take 2 shifts.

who: Yeah he needs to quit picking up former Bruins.

So, no to Nuge for Torey Krug?

Wilde

Some of the people on the other side of the microphones don’t seem to like Jesse all that much.

So many baiting questions.

JimmyV1965

Decidedly Skeptical Fan: It does look reasonably good on paper, certainly better than it does on ice, and that is the frustrating part. I think we as fans need to tone down the complaining and just chill a little bit. Give Hitch some time with these guys and let’s see where it leads.

And yes, my apologies. That was undeserved. I felt like the goalpost was shifting a bit and it probably wasn’t. Time to step away from the keyboard and try to scrounge up another Snickers.

I’m sorry, but our roster looks awful on ice and on paper. Chiasson has been great and I really appreciate what’s he’s doing, but when your fourth best forward is a PTO, your team sucks. He wouldn’t even get a sniff of top 6 minutes on a good team. For what it’s worth, our roster is better than the Kings. That ain’t saying much though.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Pescador: I get that you’re upset about the loss but I was just stating that the Oilers roster is no screaming hell either.
It looks good on paper but that’s about it.
Nothing in my post insulted or was personal so,
Why the escalation,
I would consider your argument without it.
Unless you feel your original post was so profound that there is no reason to question or debate it?

It does look reasonably good on paper, certainly better than it does on ice, and that is the frustrating part. I think we as fans need to tone down the complaining and just chill a little bit. Give Hitch some time with these guys and let’s see where it leads.

And yes, my apologies. That was undeserved. I felt like the goalpost was shifting a bit and it probably wasn’t. Time to step away from the keyboard and try to scrounge up another Snickers.

drglen

Decidedly Skeptical Fan: At this point we need to give Hitch 20 games (boot camp) with these guys to see where they are at. Making a major move (or even a few minor moves) at this point would be a mistake imo. Really have no idea what we have here.

I wouldnt be making moves either. Ride it out.

drglen

Kings had the better goalie tonight. Ahl call up or not

Any comments from hitch post game. ?

Pescador

Decidedly Skeptical Fan: Well, I guess I’ll call your Gravel and Wideman with a Dion Phaneuf and raise you a Paul LaDue. If you prefer to be obtuse … fine. But arguing that the Kings won this game because they have a more talented roster, which is what you are doing, is ridiculous. Oh, did I mention that the Kings started an AHL backup goalie again tonight since the starting AHL goalie is injured? I didn’t think so.

I get that you’re upset about the loss but I was just stating that the Oilers roster is no screaming hell either.
It looks good on paper but that’s about it.
Nothing in my post insulted or was personal so,
Why the escalation,
I would consider your argument without it.
Unless you feel your original post was so profound that there is no reason to question or debate it?
And you are calling me obtuse?

drglen

At the moment i dont see us as a playoff team

But im still a hockey fan. So i think i need to reframe wTching tbe games. I see us now as maybe a 500 club

Gm should probably be fired. Too much money and term commited to guys who ate worth somethi g but not tbat much

Chia is trying. Hes not a bum. Hes working phones and efgort is there but he did not do enough. Maybe a new gm can do better

Nurse playing poorly at tbe moment

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Réal Goudenyéu,

See above post.

Oil made a huge in-season change at HC just a few days ago. If you are Peter sometime the best action, if you are unsure of what action to take, is no action. Let Hitch collect the necessary data before proceeding.

Réal Goudenyéu

Decidedly Skeptical Fan: Well, I guess I’ll call your Gravel and Wideman with a Dion Phaneuf and raise you a Paul LaDue. If you prefer to be obtuse … fine. But arguing that the Kings won this game because they have have a more talented roster, which is what you are doing, is ridiculous. Oh, did I mention that the Kings started an AHL backup goalie again tonight since the starting AHL goalie is injured? I didn’t think so.

You are absolutely correct. So what does this mean?

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

drglen:
Decidedly Skeptical Fan,

Early on it seemed. Tl me at least. Oilers had tbe better roster and should have put the boots to the kings.As time wore on it just seemed alot of our guys simply couldmt execute

At this point we need to give Hitch 20 games (boot camp) with these guys to see where they are at. Making a major move (or even a few minor moves) at this point would be a mistake imo. Really have no idea what we have here.

drglen

Ribs: Yup. Oilers shots from the points are absolutely harmless.

There were dome nice set ups to d men. Ciuld not pull trigger

Ribs

Réal Goudenyéu:
Are the Kings just Ricki boxing??

Yup. Oilers shots from the points are absolutely harmless.

drglen

Decidedly Skeptical Fan,

Early on it seemed. Tl me at least. Oilers had tbe better roster and should have put the boots to the kings. As time wore on it just seemed alot of our guys simply couldmt execute

Bling

who: Yeah he needs to quit picking up former Bruins.

He needs to just not do anything any more.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Pescador: Pretty sure we were complaining about lack of defensive talent as well.
Oilers countered with Spooner, Rattie, Lucic, Khaira, Caggulia, Chiasson, Gravel, Wideman…….

Well, I guess I’ll call your Gravel and Wideman with a Dion Phaneuf and raise you a Paul LaDue. If you prefer to be obtuse … fine. But arguing that the Kings won this game because they have a more talented roster, which is what you are doing, is ridiculous. Oh, did I mention that the Kings started an AHL backup goalie again tonight since the starting AHL goalie is injured? I didn’t think so.

who

OmJo: Lucic
Gustavsson
Spooner

He’s 0 for 3 on former Bruins…

Yeah he needs to quit picking up former Bruins.

Zelepukin

OmJo:
Also, I think I would be happy with Talbot as backup. He’s been an elite backup in NYR. Ofc I do think TMac screwed him up by playing him so damn much. He mishandled both Talbot and LB! I’m sure if we trade Talbot he’ll bounce back. we ruin goalies.

But wasn’t it a thing that Talbot played like crap on anything more than a 2 day rest? It was like clockwork. I recall trying to find out the statistics on how many of the 12-14 games where he let in the first shot, were games in which he had a couple days off in between.

Pescador

Decidedly Skeptical Fan:
For those complaining about forward talent, please take a look at what LA iced today. Alex Iafallo, Matt Luff, Nate Thompson, Alex Wagner and Michael Amadio. And of course my favorite, Dustin Brown with the hatty.

Pretty sure we were complaining about lack of defensive talent as well.
Oilers countered with Spooner, Rattie, Lucic, Khaira, Caggulia, Chiasson, Gravel, Wideman…….

Professor Q

Puljujärvi not able to keep up with McDavid, or even practice yet, according to Hitchcock, hence why he isn’t on the top line yet.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

OmJo,
His sv% was once again sub-900 . . . So yes

OmJo

Also, I think I would be happy with Talbot as backup. He’s been an elite backup in NYR. Ofc I do think TMac screwed him up by playing him so damn much. He mishandled both Talbot and LB! I’m sure if we trade Talbot he’ll bounce back. we ruin goalies.

Pescador

drglen:
Ok postmordem

More like rigor mortis

Buddy

That felt like a schedule loss (as in, we played an NHL team).

Zelepukin

Dr. Taboggan:
I know the pacific is bad but we ain’t making the playoffs. Talbot is officially the back up.

So let’s recap. Not even 2 months into the season…

McL fired.
Rattie from 1st line RW solution to bench warmer 4th
Talbot – #1 backup
Nuge no longer with McD
Strome downgraded
Reider IRL

Pescador

Pescador: It’s a nice thought but No,
Empty netter for the Kings is all but a formality at this point

Check that 2

OmJo

Dr. Taboggan:
I know the pacific is bad but we ain’t making the playoffs. Talbot is officially the back up.

Was Talbot bad tonight?

OmJo

Dicky94:
€√¥£€^$,

Did Rattie even dress tonight?

He got hitched to the bench

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

I know the pacific is bad but we ain’t making the playoffs. Talbot is officially the back up.

Glovjuice

drglen:
Ok postmordem

Well, they are dead it would appear.

Oh, and Kings are on a back to back. Funny.

OmJo

YKOil:
From what I saw, Spooner sucks.No innuendo there, he’s just a really bad hockey player right now.

Anecdotal… but my belief has always been that GM’s do poorly when they make trades for ‘their’ guys.

F&*k me this team has issues.

It IS playing better imo but PC has to go.

Lucic
Gustavsson
Spooner

He’s 0 for 3 on former Bruins…

Pescador

Bling:
Refs weren’t good, but ultimately there aren’t enough guys who can create plays on this team.

This is the nutshell & the dagger

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

So chia is done before the deadline right? No way Katz let’s him make deadline trades?

who

Spooner has done NOTHING for that top line. The ultimate perimeter player/floater. You might as well leave Cagguila there. At least he forechecks and gets involved physically. Rattie NEVER looked that bad on the top line.
I know I’m ragging on Klefbom tonight, and the 3rd goal is on Larsson, but where is the support? The puck is coming out of the offensive zone on his partners side. Where is Klefbom? Is he holding the blue line on the other side? And if he is, WHY? Seems like basic defense, to slide to the middle of the ice, and make sure no one is sliding behind your partner. I just don’t think he processes the game very well.
As for JPs ice time, I’m willing to give it 10 games, but if he’s gonna ger 8 minutes a night they should have just left him in Bakersfield.

OmJo

Zelepukin: I’ll be more impressed if he can downgrade Lucic.

Careful what you wish for… Lucic for Phaneuf?

Bling

hunter1909: “Field of Dreams”.

Followed by Miracle on Ice?

I’ll bring ice cream.

OmJo

hunter1909: Spooner used to be Jordan Eberle.

Along with Yakupov and Taylor Hall, not a McLellan player.

In Chiarelli we trust?

Glad we got rid of non-Mclellan players!

YKOil

From what I saw, Spooner sucks. No innuendo there, he’s just a really bad hockey player right now.

Anecdotal… but my belief has always been that GM’s do poorly when they make trades for ‘their’ guys.

F&*k me this team has issues.

It IS playing better imo but PC has to go.

McSorley33

Bad schedule?
Tired?
Injuries?
Flu?
…….bad reffing?

We’ve been doing this for a long, long time…….

Bling

hunter1909: Spooner used to be Jordan Eberle.

Can someone remind Spooner to take his ankle weights off before the game? Also his wrist weights.

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

For those complaining about forward talent, please take a look at what LA iced today. Alex Iafallo, Matt Luff, Nate Thompson, Alex Wagner and Michael Amadio. And of course my favorite, Dustin Brown with the hatty.

Dicky94

€√¥£€^$,

Did Rattie even dress tonight?

Zelepukin

hunter1909: Spooner used to be Jordan Eberle.

That’s the real reason for another drink.

hunter1909

Bling: Next time soak it in buttermilk, coat it with flour and spices, fry it up and invite me over.

Maybe we can watch a movie while the Oilers game is on.

“Field of Dreams”.